Archive for the ‘Fab Foodie Finds’ Category

Smoked Salmon Frittata

It’s almost the end of the lenten season and I wanted to add yet another foodie discovery to my “meatless arsenal”.  Got the recipe from the magazine, New Idea. 😉

What’s great about this recipe is that it only uses six ingredients and is fairly easy to prepare – especially for a novice frittata maker like me!

WHAT YOU NEED: 6 eggs, 1 1/4 cups milk, 100 g packet smoked salmon (cut into thick strips), 1/2 cup bottled fire roasted peppers (drained and chopped), 1 cup frozen peas, 2 cups grated tasty cheese (cheddar may also be used)


  1. Grease a 20cm round cake pan and line base with baking paper. (I opted to do away with the greasing and lined even the sides with baking paper).
  2. Whisk eggs and milk in a large bowl until combined. Stir in salmon, peppers, peas and half the cheese. Season with pepper.
  3. Pour into prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, in a 180C oven for 1 hour, or until set and golden. Let stand in pan for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn out of dish. Serve cut into wedges.

Once done, here’s my four-step “guide” on how to best enjoy your “finished product”.

Bon appetit!

VERDICT: Definite crowd-pleaser :mrgreen:

Garlic Mushroom Risotto

I’ve been meaning to test-drive a risotto dish for the longest time in my kitchen – moreso after watching variants of this dish being featured in most of the cooking shows we have been watching lately.

Pleased to say that  after racking my brains for something new to prepare for lent and then  snagging a pack of arborio rice from the grocery – “the day” has finally come! 😉

I was equally pleased at how it turned out – though I admittedly had to tweak the original recipe a bit.

Some minor revisions:

  1. Reduced mushrooms to 375 grams.
  2. Added 1 more cup of water.
  3. Replaced romano cheese with parmesan.
  4. Used dried parsley instead of fresh.
  5. Added dried rosemary.

Verdict: Encore soon! :mrgreen:


Potato-Corn-Tuna Patties

The kids being back to school only means that I have to likewise “activate” my “lunch lady duties”.

Knowing that their school specifically requires requests that they bring only healthy packed lunches (translation:  no chips and sugary treats, no eggs nor nuts too (in deference to those kids with food allergies)) has certainly put both my creativity and cooking skills (?) to the test more often than not.

Thank goodness that co-mommy Carrie (aka wonder twin of my fave sis-in-law – on my side of the fam 😉 ) suggested that I try this recipe she googled from one of the more popular and kid-friendly foodie sites in this part of the world.

The result?  

Definitely another winner! :mrgreen:  Also, since  it brings together the three ingredients our kids love (mashed potatoes, sweet corn and tuna flakes), this dish undoubtedly has my “mommy-stamp-of-approval”. 😀

And if, like me, you have a little girl whose portion sizes are a bit smaller than our two other growing tweens, making the patties into potato balls – and paired with the usual “fruit component” (in this case, sweet seedless watermelon wedges – yum!) – should still hit the spot.


Hoping to share more lunchbox ideas soon. 🙂

Brissy Chrissy Foodie Finds

Spending Christmas away from what we have been used to in good ol’ Pinas, though a bit lonesome at first, always proves to be an exciting and most interesting experience.

For one, it gives us a good picture of how people in different countries celebrate (if at all) important occasions.  And being “forever-Pinoys-at-heart”, what better way to showcase the celebration of Christmas than with glorious food!

I was especially thrilled with these “finds” as they reflect how Aussie-based Pinoys have adapted to the holiday customs and traditions of the locals in the only nation-continent of the world.

Pavlova is essentially a merengue-based cake which is topped with whipped cream and fruits (usually a variety of berries) in season.  Though it is usually homemade, most just run off to the nearest grocery store to get the “basic cake” and just do the toppings at home. 😳  It is considered a traditional holiday dessert here in roo-land. 

VERDICT: Light, not too sweet… plus the berries provide the much needed anti-oxidant fix to combat those nasty free radicals brought about by consuming all those other “sinfully rich” holiday offerings – hahaha!

This was yet another “foodie-scovery”…

This is also called Christmas pudding in these parts.  I am not admittedly a huge fan but it is indeed amusing to find out that the “fruit cake circle”  (remember the joke about the 12 fruit cakes that just manage to go around every Christmas season? 😉 ) has apparently made its presence felt  here too!

Lastly, though not of the edible kind, we were pleased to be able to participate in yet another Aussie Christmas tradition – the wearing of  paper crowns around the meal table while partaking of the holiday food.  These paper crowns come from inside “explodable” Christmas bonbons (pretty much like the party poppers found in Pinas)… Too bad though that I wasn’t able to take proper pictures to illustrate my point since we were all happily “caught in the moment” of letting ’em bonbons pop to get the crowns (plus mini plastic toys!). :mrgreen:

Suffice it to say that our first Christmas Down Under was definitely memorable and that we certainly – especially with those fab desserts and poppin’ bonbons – had a “blast”!

Fab French Fungi

Before all of you let out a collective “Eeeeewwww!” at the title of my post, please do read on… I’m sure most of you will hopefully see how close to reality this “claim” is later on …  😉

As mentioned in my previous entry, thanks to my sister’s good friend (our fave French monsieur also known as “Louis Pierre”), we got over our initial biases and were pleasantly acquainted with traditional French cuisine.

Although admittedly a bit pricier than the usual “plate of the day”  in Spain or in Portugal, our gastronomic adventure led us to a quaint and cozy restaurant in the heart of Paris – Truffes Folies – where, you guessed it – the specialty is the so-called “diamond of the kitchen” – the fab fungus that is the truffle.

Sure, I’ve heard of truffles before – why, I’ve even tasted its chocolatey version! 😳  Little did I realize though how chocolate truffles were in a totally different league till I tasted the delicate flavor of the “real thing” – that I too would inevitably fall prey to the charms of this “fungal fruit”- especially after sampling these savory truffle-ized culinary creations…

Too bad I never got around asking the chef what the creamy, sorbet-like scoop was… 😦 It was delicious nonetheless!

How’s this for upping the status of the lowly omelette? 😉

My order. Y-U-M-M-Y.

Hubby’s order. Y-U-M-M-I-E-R!

And for those of us (i.e., my brother) who weren’t huge truffle fans that adventurous with their food, there’s always this…

Still tasty and delish!

Of course, if, for some weird reason, you feel that flavor was still wanting, you can always have dashes of these…

or this  – to ultimately “level up” the “delish factor” of your dish!

Needless to say, our traditional French lunch that day will set the bar “way up” for our future foodie adventures.

And if only for this, I can definitely say, “Vive la France!” 😎

Ooh-la-la-Laduree! :D

Being perpetual foodies-at-heart, the many fabulous sights we saw during our recent family holiday still seemed wanting to render us fully satisfied insofar as the “full sensory experience” is concerned.  Good thing  an undeniable highlight happened –  our oh-so-pleasant introduction to traditional French food! 😆

Admittedly, we were at first reluctant to try this particular cuisine as visions of small portions, exhorbitant prices and snooty maitre d’s came to mind everytime  (*shudder*) …

Thank goodness we were proven wrong!

And to shake things up a bit – I will not start my post with appetizers nor mains (expect those in later posts 😉 ) but, you guessed it – with dessert! 😳

So please, sit back, relax and let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away (Versailles, in France, to be exact), there was a family who visited a grand museum which was a royal palace once before.  Among the many paintings, sculptures, and fancy things one would expect from a palace were there, of course, but they were certainly intrigued to see this…

“Secrets?”, they wondered, as these tempting delights flashed before their eyes…  “What could they be?”  And, needless to say, curiosity got the better of them and they explored some more… they wanted to unlock whatever this “secret” was… and these seemed to hold the elusive key!

“Hmmm… too fancy!”

“Too plain…”

“Perfect match!” They all agreed. Just right.

And so, excited at having unlocked a sweet secret, they hurriedly grabbed this…

They opened the bag excitedly and found exactly what they were looking for…

Secrets that were just too sweet not to share…

For who could certainly resist treats as delectable as these? 😉  They all decided it would be best for everyone to be in on these “precious secrets”.

 The secret is out – sinfully sweet and calorie-laden  almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling – premium double-decker macarons from Laduree!

That night, they all slept happily ever after – with that unmistakeable silly macaron-triggered smile painted on their faces. They had been to macaron-heaven and back – the secret has been unlocked and they want the whole world to know.

The End.


When Ex-Easterners Meet…and Eat!

A few evenings ago, we had the pleasure of having dinner at John&Yoko’s again… and apart from the fun exchange of stories from our ex-kingdom-based friends (read hubby’s account of it here), we were also thrilled to be introduced to some “new treats” (aka items from the menu that we do not usually order) this cool resto has to offer. 🙂

Get a load of these “yummies”…

Delectable sea urchin (uni) sushi – will definitely have an “encore” during our next visit :mrgreen:

Chicken teriyaki pizza with mango chunks and fish roe (tobiko) drizzled with Japanese mayo – delicious!

It was a pity that we didn’t have the chance to take photos of the other foodie finds we had that night – Wagyu Rice and Salmon Teriyaki Belly.  Well, there’s always a next time, right? 😉

In the meantime, we have to make do with these yummy foodie memories until we find ourselves in this part of the metro again.

A repeat favorite from our first visit – the Spider Roll – soft-shelled crab sushi  with Japanese mayo and fish roe


Mr Cool

If you were to ask hubby the best way to beat the heat and humidity in Manila, his surefire “prescription” (at least to us who know him well) would be…

Take at least one of these (be it Quickly, Zagu, Ice Monster… name it, he’s had it!) :mrgreen: per day (now you know why it’s just so hard to lose weight!) to chase the uncomfortable heat (and stickiness too…eeewwww!!!!) away!

The photo above is actually two glasses of the all-too-familiar pink Pinoy “samalamig” I remember being  sold by street vendors with rolling wooden carts  when I was a kid staying at my grandparents’  house over the summer.  Back then, this was usually ladled into glasses from plastic jars with red lids… I never actually knew what it was called and how it tasted till fairly recently when – you guessed it – hubby was “enticed” to purchase some for a (ahem) “taste test”.

Except that these particular ones actually came from a food stall – in a mall! What can I say? “Ice scramble” has come a long way indeed! 😀

And as for hubby, all I can say is that he’s definitely…

PS Excuse the poor picture quality as I took these photos from my phone cam only.

Pinoy Deli…in A Pack!

Whenever any of us “desert dwellers” here comes back from a Pinas vacation, it is customary for the usual “Pinoy pasalubong pack” to make its appearance sooner or later.

Sure, we’ve had more than our share of chocnut, polvoron, garlic peanuts and sinigang mixes to satisfy our Pinoy cravings…. but this?

Heat pack in boiling water for 5 minutes, open, serve and enjoy! Easy-peasy!

Especially here where “oinkish delights” are taboo, this was indeed a welcome treat! 😳  What’s more, if we are to believe what’s written on the package – “NO PRESERVATIVES”  – this is indeed groundbreaking! 😆

And apparently, the list of Pinoy packed “home cooked” goodies goes on – laing, menudo, adobo … Now if this isn’t genius, do tell what is! 

I have a hunch this baby’s (especially the “lechon kind”) going to have a “captive market” this side of the world! 😉

Chill Thrill

Alas, the comfortably cool days of winter have finally bid us adieu… and – in this part of the world most especially – the heat is most definitely ON!!!  😥 

Goodbye, 20s and 30s… hello 40s! ( just to make it clear – I’m talking about temperature on the Celsius scale here – and NOT my age, okay?) :mrgreen:

Good thing hubby discovered these babies during our recent trip to our favorite Japanese hyakuen (one hundred yen – or the equivalent in riyals – in our case 😉 ) store – Daiso

Yes, what better way to keep cool on a warm summer day than with these…

Homemade popsicle makers – with straws! 😎 I remember having similar contraptions like these when I was little (I think my mom bought it from the roving Tupperware lady) but this is the first time I’ve seen one with straws – perfect for catching those sticky popsicle drips – even before they happen! Now that’s doubly cool if you ask me! 😉 

And so, with hubby’s equally bright idea of freezing some strawberry milk to make the popsicles, it was pretty exciting to see our three gremlins’ wide-eyed anticipation in having their first taste of homemade popsies – something, incidentally, that they also helped in preparing earlier.

The verdict?

What can I say? Leave it to the Japanese to think of amazing innovations to seemingly ordinary and long-forgotten kitchen gadgets.  And at the very reasonable price of SR7 (USD1.86), it’s truly a delightfully cheap (chill) thrill.

A return trip to Daiso is surely in the offing.  Subarashii desu! 😀